A year and a half ago I embarked on my entrepreneurial journey without even realising. I had a terrible experience getting my car fixed at a large chain of garages and got “ripped off” by a mechanic who preyed on my lack of car knowledge. After I found out that I had been scammed, I decided to start my own blog to teach myself about cars and also anyone else who loved to drive but wasn’t a “Petrol Head.” I wanted to give my readers the confidence and knowledge to know how to maintain their cars and how much they should be spending on their cars.
To cut a long story short, my blog then became a website and now it is a revenue generating business. I have been working on my business full time for a year and over this year there have been many times that I have had to step outside of my comfort zone. Not only being a female entrepreneur, but a young female entrepreneur with very little business experience.
Do something you are scared of:
I know it sounds easier said than done but if you want to step out of your comfort zone you can’t think about it too much. You just have to do the things you are scared of and instead of thinking about how scared you are, think about how great you will feel once you have successfully done what you are scared of doing.
For instance, I really dislike public speaking, especially when I have to do a talk without any notes. I get so worried that I am going to forget everything I want to say, will I end up rambling and boring people. Will they be judging me on what I am saying or if I make a mistake? Over the past year I have had to step out of my comfort zone and pitch my business on multiple occasions to big audiences, as I have been trying to raise investment. Not only do I have to pitch my business with no notes, I have to pitch a female orientated business that is part of a male dominated industry to a room full of predominantly middle aged male investors.
Make yourself comfortable with the situation:
The first step was to learn my 5 minute pitch completely off by heart so that I wouldn’t be worried about forgetting what I am supposed to say. The second step was to rehearse my pitch and practice saying it without looking like I knew it off by heart. The worst thing is to sound too rehearsed. The last step was to make myself appear much bigger and confident than I actually am.
I am a very young looking 25 year old (I have been mistaken for 18 a number of times) I am also quite short so I don’t have an overpowering presence. I spent days practicing in front of my family projecting my voice, making eye contact with them whilst I was speaking and I went out to buy a professional looking outfit.
When it came to do my most recent pitch which was pretty much Dragons Den but in real life, I was still petrified. I went up onto the stage and I was shaking and I probably spoke too quickly. However, I got through the pitch and I said everything that I wanted to say. I thought that I could have done better but I was so happy when I was given a lot of very positive feedback after the event.
I was really proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and I was so glad that I did it.
Top tips for stepping out of your comfort zone:
- Say ‘yes’ when you get asked to do something that is outside of your comfort zone, it is much easier to say ‘no’ but when you say yes it forces you to do something you wouldn’t usually do. Trust me you will feel great when you have done it!
- Be confident in yourself, you can do anything you set your mind to.
- Don’t be scared of failure, the fact that you have said ‘yes’ to doing something that is outside of your comfort zone already means that you have been successful.
I'd love to hear your experiences on developing more confidence and stepping outside of your comfort zone. Have a nice week!
This is a quest post from Charlotte Leuw - DrivenWoman member and founder of MyCarGossip, website that helps female drivers to find the most reliable motoring service.